I don't like writing about people I consider friends and yet yesterday I did it ... twice -- once in a small Buddhist article and once as a book review on bookseller Amazon's site.
I dislike writing about friends because my job as a writer -- or anyway as I see it -- is to tell the reader the best information I can -- information unclouded by such things as friendship. These are my subjects. They are not my friends.
When writing, the reader takes precedence and my friendships need to take a back seat. I may never keep my bias entirely at bay, but I prefer to try. I dislike trying to hoodwink the reader by injecting a praise that grows out of friendship. Shills are a dime a dozen, as any public relations firm or agitation and propaganda ministry proves.
I don't mind stating an opinion or bias, but I prefer that it be clearly labeled: "This is what I think." Saying something is good is OK, but trying to convince someone else that it's good just because I think it's good ... that's a world of pimps and morons and snake-oil salesmen.
But I did it and I can feel all the convenient excuses coursing through my mind ... if everyone does it, how wrong can it be?
Well, I don't mind being wrong, but I hate feeling slimy.